For as long as I have been flying the Crane blockade runner in Q-ship mode, it’s been my ambition to blow up a Hulk mining barge, if I could ever find one whose pilot thought he could safely shoot at the “helpless hauler”.

Of course, that goes back to the days when Hulks cost half a billion ISK or more, and aggressive Hulk pilots were hard to find. And in any event, the few times I’ve tangled with Hulks, the battles have been inconclusive — I’ve had a DPS shortage, or the Hulk pilot called in reinforcements, or the Hulk pilot managed to get away when I was short of cap to hold him or her down.

So tonight is a proud night in the annals of Ironfleet. Eventually the word is gonna get out — you really shouldn’t shoot at Ironfleet Towing And Salvage unless you’re ready to kill what you’re shooting at. That helpless hauler? Eh, not so much as it turns out:

2008.06.08 03:25:00

Victim: maddhatter
Alliance: Wildly Inappropriate.
Corp: Draconic Industries
Destroyed: Hulk
System: [redacted]
Security: 0.5
Damage Taken: 5692

Involved parties:

Name: Marlenus (laid the final blow)
Security: 1.4
Alliance: NONE
Corp: Ironfleet Towing And Salvage
Ship: Crane
Weapon: Havoc Fury Heavy Missile
Damage Done: 5692

Destroyed items:

Strip Miner I, Qty: 2
Plagioclase, Qty: 12088 (Cargo)
Expanded Cargohold II

Dropped items:

Strip Miner I
Expanded Cargohold II
Solid Pyroxeres, Qty: 7050 (Cargo)

A few highlights of information about the encounter:

  • When I warped in on Maddhatter’s jet can, he was being met and “serviced” by an unaffiliated alt in an Iteron. So I found the can empty, except for one unit of ore. (Which, of course, I salvaged from where it lay drifting, dangerously, among the stars.) Key point: Maddhatter risked his Hulk to punish the loss of one (count it with me, ONE!) unit of plagioclase.
  • The drones he launched were a full flight of Tech I Hammerheads. That was a relief. He never came close to breaking my tank with those. If he’d launched Tech II drones, I know from bitter experience that it would have been a much closer fight, at best.
  • It took me eighteen heavy EM missiles (Caldari Navy Thunderbolts) to break his shields. I then paused to reload with Havoc Furies (explosive) to finish him off. That took eleven more shots. Note from the killmail that this Hulk was tanked to factory specification, without any additional aftermarket tanking equipment installed. I assume it’s trivial to tank a Hulk so that it cannot lose to a blockade runner transport mounting one heavy missile launcher, but this pilot did not avail himself of his tanking options.
  • Maddhatter has been playing this game since June 16 in the Year Of Our Lord Two Thousand and Three. In other words: for just one week short of five long years. Although there have been subsequent employment excursions, Maddhatter joined the current corp (the first time) in 2004. So this does not “feel” like an eBayed character, despite the Tech I drones, the lack of tank, and the dangerously aggressive flying.
  • After the Hulk went “kaboom”, Maddhatter warped silently away, without smack or communique. The alt hauler laboriously closed up on the wreck (slower than me, so I got the modules that dropped in the wreck) and was still snuggled up against it (attempting to salvage?) when I came back in a different salvage vessel to salvage the wreck parts. Disappointingly: “(notify) You successfully salvage from the Gallente Elite Mining Barge Wreck. Unfortunately there was nothing to be salvaged. “

My only regret, in all of this, is that I cannot be a fly on the wall in corp chat as Maddhatter attempts to explain how (and more importantly, WHY) he lost his hulk to a guy in a hauler.

5 Responses to “Hulk Dies To “Helpless Hauler””

  1. Jim says:

    Fun stuff. Loses 93,000,000 ISK ship defending 23 ISK of ore.

  2. Marlenus says:

    Yeah. Isn’t it amazing? ;-)

  3. Bri says:

    Oh my, it’s the battlecrane at work again! Even though I disagree with griefing in general, I still do it occasionally and my respect goes up exponentially when I meet a great writer with great technique who does not have his head stuck up his derriere like so many pirates I have met. Good work!

  4. Marlenus says:

    Thanks Bri. I appreciate the kind words!

    Of course I dispute your “griefing” though; in my conception, griefing is stuff done for the express purpose of annoying and harassing others. There’s enough profit motive in my activities (two Bustard loads of ore just today, lots of strip miners and expanded cargo hold IIs) for me to be comfortable rejecting any griefing accusation. Like any EVE player, I find victory sweet and I love to blow stuff up, but griefing? I don’t see it.

  5. Marlenus says:

    ZOMG, you have a Hello Kitty Kestrel on your blog!

    If my girlfriend could have one of those, she’d play EVE, I swear she would.

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